Tag: black friday

Black Friday Marketing Campaigns: Ideas and Examples

With Black Friday rapidly approaching and prices for ad space skyrocketing again, marketers are once more faced with this annually recurring, though nonetheless challenging question: How do you create the perfect Digital Marketing Black Friday campaign that reflects current shopping trends, has not been done before, and makes your own business stand out from the competition, especially if you don’t have the kind of Marketing budget e-commerce giants like Amazon have at their disposal? Sure, finding an answer can feel daunting, but no need to stress, because in this article, we will not only inform you about relevant shopping trends, we will also explain to you all you need to know about creating and optimizing your 2021 Black Friday Digital Marketing campaigns.

These are the topics we will cover today:

  1. General Tips
  2. Black Friday 2021 shopping trends 
  3. Which channels should you use?
  4. 7 Strategies for making your black Friday Digital Marketing campaign stands out
  5. Conclusion

One thing I should make clear here is that, while technically SEO, referral traffic and onsite improvements are part of Digital Marketing as well, this article focuses on strategies related to paid digital marketing campaigns, so if you’re looking for information on improving your keyword strategy or generating referral traffic, this might not be the right place for you.

1. General Tips for you Black Friday Digital Marketing Strategy

Here’s a few basic things to keep in mind when working on a digital marketing plan for Black Friday 2021:

  • Start early enough: Things like collecting subscribers for your email campaigns can take time.
  • Do your research: Before you start working on this year’s campaigns, look into what worked in the past. Also inform yourself about current shopping trends that impact your Black Friday planning.
  • When setting up campaigns, a comprehensive omnichannel strategy usually works best!

2. Black Friday 2021 shopping trends: 

Before we start talking about the actual campaigns, let’s look into some current shopping trends affecting Black Friday sales in 2021. 

Where do people buy? 

  • The trend for more shopping to be done online is expected to continue in 2021, even now that the situation around Covid has settled some and most stores have reopened, so make sure to take this into account when choosing your channels and creating your content. 
  • Another noteworthy development is that according to similarweb, 75% of last year’s Black Friday shoppers used mobile devices to research products and complete purchases, so a similarly high percentage of mobile shoppers can be expected this year.

And finally, with the pandemic, supporting local businesses has become important to many consumers, so use this to your advantage when targeting local shoppers.

2021 Black Friday Digital Marketing Strategies

Source: blachfriday.com

Black Friday Marketing Ideas

Source: similarweb.com

When do people buy?

  • According to similarweb, around a third of holiday shoppers are planning to do their holiday shopping in 2021 earlier than they did last year. Make sure to target these people with your Black Friday campaigns.
  • Another very important trend that has started in recent years, is that Black Friday sales are not limited to the actual Black Friday anymore, instead they extend over several days, so make sure your business is prepared for that. In fact, the majority of businesses generates more revenue on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday itself.

What do consumers want?

  • More than ever, consumers expect an effortless shopping experience from anywhere, not just from their home, with flexible payment terms, delivery options, and return policies. The more flexibility you offer, the better. Popular examples of this are “buy now, pay later” models or extended returns till after Christmas for unhappy gift recipients. 

A surprising trend that started with the pandemic is that people are checking out more new brands rather than sticking to their proven repertoires. This can be a chance to attract new customers, but makes it difficult to retain loyal customers.

3. Which Channels Should You Use?

To keep it brief, here’s a list of the most popular online channels that can be used for Digital Marketing purposes:

  • Display Ads
  • Email and SMS campaigns
  • Social Media posts, videos and ads on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Youtube,…
  • Mobile/App Push notifications 
  • Web Push notifications 

I’m sure everyone knows about Display Ads, but if you’re on a budget, alternatives such as web push notifications for which you pay a fixed price might be worth considering, since there’s no need to outbid the competition for ad space. 

Again, rather than putting all your efforts into one channel, set up a comprehensive omnichannel strategy to reach a wide range of users in a wide range of situations. Also make sure that your online campaigns reflect your general brand image, and that your digital campaign strategy fits in with your onsite efforts, your SEO, and offline Marketing channels such as TV, print, or outdoor ads.

4. Seven Strategies for making your black Friday Digital Marketing campaign stand out: 

a) Timing

b) Incentives

c) The element of surprise

d) Innovation

e) Social and environmental responsibility

f) Content and Design

g) Engagement

a) Timing: it doesn’t start and end with the actual event 

As you’re probably very aware of as a marketer, the competition for ad space around Black Friday is absolutely crazy. If you’re working for a smaller e-commerce with limited resources and you’re worried about not being able to compete with bigger bidders, don’t panic. If you strike at a less popular time, you can achieve amazing results at comparatively little cost. 

  • Bid early: Rather than paying a lot for ad space during the actual Black Friday weekend, you could run Black Friday campaigns in the weeks or even months leading up to the event 

Example 1: Walmart 

Have you already considered preparing your consumers for Black Friday in advance, for example in the form of a countdown like in this campaign by Walmart? That way, there will be less competition for the attention of shoppers and ad space will be much cheaper.

Walmart Black Friday Strategy

Example 2: Frank and Oak

Maybe you can even get consumers to add your event to their calendar the way Frank and Oak did, so you don’t have to do the reminder on the actual day when everyone else does. 

Black Friday Marketing Ideas

Example 3: Kopari

Another company that managed a great build-up to Black Friday is Kopari with their social media campaign in which influencers presented their favorite holiday gifts featuring products from Kopari in the month leading up to Black Friday. Not only did this remind shoppers of the brand, it also gave them inspiration for specific products to buy making the choice easier for overwhelmed shoppers.

Black Friday 2021 Marketing Ideas

Example 4: Zippy

Zippy extended the event throughout the entire month of November with this Black Month campaign keeping shoppers interested in the brand by announcing surprise offers:

Black Friday 2021 Digital Marketing Ideas

  • Bid late: The opposite works as well: As the term “Black Friday” is very strongly associated with sales, you can still grab consumers’ attention with Post-Black Friday campaigns into December, for example through catchy headlines making reference to the event with messages such as “Black Friday’s over, but we’re bringing it back for you!” 

Example 1: Doggyloot

Here’s an example of such a Post-Black Friday campaign sent in December by Doggyloot:

Ideas Black Friday b) Incentives: offer more than just your product

Everyone likes getting free gifts, so encourage customers to buy from your site by adding extras to your offer. Or instead of gifts, you could offer free shipping and returns or give access to exclusive benefits during future events. A great way to upsell is if you make gifts and extra benefits depend on the value spent in your shop.

Example 1: Shinesty 

Shinesty offered more gifts, the more you bought. Personally, I’m not sure if I would have appreciated receiving 8 gifts with my purchase, but it seems to have worked for them and at least most of your Christmas shopping is taken care of after purchasing something at Shinesty for 250$.

Black Friday Examples and Ideas

Example 2: KVD

This company offered an entire gift bundle and made it even more attractive by offering two designs for some sense of personalization.

Black Friday Campaign ideas

 

c) The element of surprise: Catch your customers off-guard 

If you really want to stand out from the crowd, use shock value. There’s nothing better to pique someone’s curiosity than an email with the scandalous headline stating that Black Friday has been cancelled this year. If that’s too risky for you, no problem, you can still tease people with little snippets promising an amazing surprise without giving any further details, or make your headlines purposely obscure, ambiguous, or otherwise unexpected.

Example 1: Chubbies

Chubbies caused quite the stir with this email campaign announcing the cancellation of Black Friday. Also notice the email address in the subject line of the email! A message like that leaves people confused and eager for more information.

Black Friday Campaign Strategies

 

Example 2: Cards Against Humanity

Something that is becoming more and more popular are Anti-Black Friday campaigns, especially among companies with a sustainable mission. For an example check out Cards Against Humanity’s campaign from last year that didn’t just cancel Black Friday, but took it a step further and asked customers to pay more rather than offering discounts. It definitely got people talking about the brand!

Black Friday Marketing Ideas

Black Friday Digital Marketing Examples

Example 3: Death Wish Coffee

If you don’t want to take it quite that far, there are much simpler ways to appeal to shoppers’ curiosity, just take a look at what Death Wish Coffee did. They surprised shoppers by assigning them a random gift code that could be anywhere in between 1$ and 100$. A big part of the appeal lay in the fact that you didn’t know the value before checking out.

Black Friday Digital Marketing Ideas

Black Friday Digital Marketing Ideas

 

d) Innovation: Offer things not usually on offer

It’s always a good idea to come up with innovative ideas and features. That could be product features not usually available such as mix and match options, innovations related to the shopping experience such as shipping and return conditions, or the invention of an entirely new event like Black Thursday or Technicolor Friday.

Example 1: Bath and Body Works

Bath and Body Works offered a feature only available on Black Friday, a mix and match option for the entire store.

Black Friday Ideas for 2021

Example 2: Cartier

Cartier realized that many Black Friday shoppers are shopping holiday gifts for others which makes bad buys inevitable. That’s why they decided to extend returns until after Christmas.

Cartier Black Friday Example

Example 3: Community Forklift

Community Forklift came up with their own name for the event, one that is more in line with their brand image. Instead of Black Friday, they celebrated Green Friday and Small-business Saturday. I also really like the accompanying slogan and the idea to have people make their own gifts together!

black-friday

“Shop green, shop small, or don’t shop at all – here’s an excuse to stay away from the mall! Instead of fighting crowds to buy presents, come by our warehouse to relax with friends, shop with local businesses, and even learn how to MAKE presents.”

 

e) Social and environmental responsibility: Stand out by standing up for your values 

More and more businesses are associating their Black Friday campaigns with social or environmental causes. There are a number of different ways to do this, some businesses promote conscious consumption by discouraging consumers from shopping that day, some use the revenue generated during Black Friday to support non-profit organizations, some plant trees for every purchase made on their site, and others simply offer educational material to make issues more transparent. Associating with a good cause is another great way to build long-term relationships with your customers.

Example 1: Deciem

Deciem used their Black Friday campaign to remind shoppers of conscious consumption. That’s why they didn’t offer a Black Friday sale, but an educational month and extended discounts. That reduced the sense of urgency and the feeling that you’re missing out on something if you don’t buy immediately.

Black Friday Original Ideas

Example 2: Birdsong

This company highlighted the downside of Black Friday and some of the injustices in the fashion industry with a Transparent Friday campaign. What’s really unique about it is that they let shoppers choose their discount value themselves after reading through the informational material.

2021 Black Friday Ideas

“Through Transparent Friday, Birdsong is not only showing customers the very people who make and pack their clothes and how much they earn, but also how much each garment costs to make, its total revenue for the year, and how much its CEO earns. In return for reading through the information, customers can choose whether to take 15% or 10% off as a discount on the new winter collection, or add a tip to their order to support the work that Birdsong is doing”

 

f) Content and design: Make your campaigns unique and appealing

To make people want to continue reading, try using humour and wordplay for good headers and subject lines, tell captivating stories, create cute animations that appeal to people’s emotions, or come up with special design themes that capture attention, are easily recognizable and reflect what your business is about.

Example 1: Hermes 

Hermes did a great job with this winter wonderland video reel. It told a story, looked cute, appealed to people’s emotions and featured the company’s products.

Black Friday 2021 Strategies

Example 2: Asos

Asos chose to follow a very recognizable design theme with this comic book vibe campaign:

Black Friday Discounts

Example 3: Chubbies

Chubbies used humor and wordplay in their campaign. As this example shows, it can also be a good strategy to build campaigns around one particular product to avoid overwhelming shoppers with choice.

Black Friday Promos

Example 4: Target

Target’s campaign was based on this catchy headline: “First we turkey, then we Target!”

Black Friday 2021

 

g) Engagement: Work together with your shoppers to make your event special

Make your campaigns personal and interactive, maybe even celebrate Black Friday together with your customers by inviting them to live events or encouraging them to spend the day working towards a common cause with you. Allowing customers to interact with your brand usually has them talking about you for a long time, and as shoppers are not just buying a product, but become part of an experience, you leave them not only with positive memories of the event, but also with an emotional connection to your brand.

Example 1: Phoenix Productions 

Phoenix Productions organized a live fundraising raffle last year where shoppers could bid on gifts from their home.

Black Friday Raffle

Example 2: REIs #optoutside campaign

Another amazing campaign that encouraged customers to actively participate is the #optoutside campaign by outdoor company REI asking people to spend Black Friday outside rather than in the mall. The campaign was unique, promoted a good cause, and asked shoppers to join forces with the business, thus creating a sense of community and a long-lasting emotional bond.

Black Friday 2021 examples

Example 3: MeUndies 

Somewhat similar to Phoenix Productions, MeUndies invited shoppers to a live event. However, this time it took the form of an exclusive virtual party where MeUndies organized a live unveiling of their discounts. While the event was extremely successful in terms of returns, it also generated a lot of brand awareness.

Black Friday Event

Conclusion: 

As with most things, when planning and executing a Black Friday Digital Marketing campaign, there is no one size fits all ideal solution. Just remember that it is important to plan ahead, develop a comprehensive omnichannel strategy, be innovative and use your creativity to engage customers. If you can’t afford quantity, make it about quality and your sale can be just as memorable as that of leading e-commerce businesses. 

And most importantly, no matter which channels you use and which strategies you decide on, make sure that your campaign is aligned with your brand image, your brand values and your offline campaigns. It will probably serve you more to work on long-lasting strategies that bind customers to you even beyond Black Friday, rather than putting all your efforts into attracting them to your site for the weekend and getting them to buy from you right this minute.

Since you are already here, check out:

Why Push Notifications are the best Black Friday Sale Tactic

Black Friday sale ideas are what every business owner and marketing team is thinking about during the last weeks of November (even in previous months). How to plan a successful Black Friday marketing strategy, that’s both attractive and profitable for businesses, could be a challenge.

black friday sale push notifications

The significance of what could easily be the most important shopping holiday of the entire year, can’t go unnoticed. It’s imperative for e-commerce owners to step up their game and maximize revenue. Efficient communication of the Black Friday sale is key to do so, and that’s where web push notifications come in.

5 Reasons why you should use Web Push Notifications for your Black Friday Sale

1. Direct communication (Higher CTR compared to email)

Web push notifications are a direct form to communicate with users. As soon as the Black Friday sale is live on the e-commerce, shoppers will receive the notification instantly on their screen. This creates a big advantage in terms of CTR compared to any other channel, because it just requires one click to generate a session. However, in terms of email they need to first open, and then click, which requires at least two clicks.

No matter if the user is registered or not, if they allow push notifications, the message will be delivered, bringing the customer back even if they’re not navigating through the site at the moment. This tactic guarantees the most effective communication of the sale.

Opt-in Push Notification Example

2. Cut through the noise

The most common channel to get in touch with customers is email. However, during important shopping periods such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, client’s inboxes are going to be overflowing with emails from hundreds of stores, both e-commerce and physical. Web push notifications offer e-businesses an efficient way to cut through the noise and increase the odds of clients actually receiving their message.

Remember: what’s not shown is not sold. You can have the best product/sale in the market but if your customers don’t know about it, it’s like it doesn’t even exist.

3. Short, appealing and personalized messages

Having a great product and an amazing deal for your Black Friday Sale is not enough (sorry that you have to hear it from us). How you communicate the message to customers is a big part of the issue. Remember that you’re fighting with thousands of brands, asking shoppers to choose your site to spend their money. 

Bottom line: keep the message clear, concise and creative.

black friday pus notification example

4. The quickest way to generate sales

“The early bird catches the worm¨. On average, a web push notification is clicked after a few minutes upon receiving, but an email is opened even after hours. This is a big advantage in terms of offers which have a deadline just like Black Friday. You can generate the sessions from interested shoppers just in seconds.

Besides that, thanks to the “Time to Live” feature of web push notifications you can configure the notifications not to be received after a specific offer deadline, in order not to disturb the shoppers with an offer which is already expired.

5. Create expectation and increase your opt-in rate

If you plan your Black Friday Sale strategy with time in advance, you can start communicating with your audience a lot earlier. Create a hype around the big shopping holiday. Let visitors know in advance that you have something amazing prepared for them in the upcoming days and that you want them to be first to hear about it through web push notification messages.

black friday sale hype

During this time, you can even implement some A/B testing. Evaluate how and which messages perform and engage better with your audience. You’ll gain an amazing understanding and leverage you can use in your business’ favor when planning your final Black Friday Sale messages. 

Remember to  take into consideration the time frames when planning your Black Friday push notifications messages. Users should not receive BF themed shopping reminders after the sale has ended!

We hope these tips will help your Black Friday Sale planning!

For more info on how to create an effective strategy check out:

How to Orchestrate your Marketing Strategy on Multi-Channel